Google brings Songza’s Concierge playlists to the UK

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One area in which Google Play Music has continually been lacking is its support for listeners outside of the United States. International use with Google Play Music got a little better tonight, however, as Google has revealed that it is bringing its Songza-powered automated playlist generation feature to listeners in the UK (via TechCrunch).

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Google: The Nexus 5 ‘will continue to be available’ in Q1 2015

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Many reports have been hitting the web this morning that the Nexus 5 has ceased production, and while that may very well be true (we’re pretty sure it is), there’s no reason to go buying a backup phone out of fear that the device is going to magically disappear from the Play Store over the next few days (at least according to an official statement provided to us by Google)…

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Google shares this year’s most popular apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, books & news

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Google has put together a hefty infographic showing 2014’s most popular apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, books & news.

Health and fitness was the fastest-growing app category, with MyFitnessPal topping the charts within the category. Candy Crush remained the most downloaded game. Other app category chart-toppers were Facebook, Netflix, Pandora, TripAdvisor, Duolingo, Flipagram and NFL Mobile …  Read more

Google begins notifying users of $19 million settlement with FTC over in-app purchases

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Google has started notifying users of its Play Store about a $19 million settlement it reached with the FTC in September. The company is being required to pay out refunds for in-app purchases made by children on their parents’ credit cards after one of Apple’s lawyers brought the case to the FTC’s attention.

Users will have until December 2nd, 2015 to log into their Play Store accounts and mark any in-app purchases that were made by a minor in order to qualify for a refund. The total refund isn’t limited to $19 million, as that number serves only as a minimum required by the FTC.

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Project Ara marketplace in the works will be like Google Play for hardware modules (Updated)

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Project Ara is still slowly but surely making its way toward being a commercial product, and today one of the mysteries of the device–how people will buy and sell various interchangeable hardware modules–has been answered. Globant, a company focused on delivering “innovative software” has announced that they’ve partnered with Google’s Advanced Technology & Projects (ATAP) group on the development of a marketplace made specifically for Project Ara.

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Google doles out free $20 Play credits to Chromecast owners

From 9to5Toys.com:
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Update (12/8 1:00pm): Target has Chromecast for $22.99. Redeem Google’s latest promo (below) to drop its effective price down to $2.99.

Google has just launched a new offer that extends a free $20 Google Play credit to anyone who purchases a Chromecast by December 21. According to the offer details, only Chromecasts purchased between December 7 and December 21 will be eligible for the free credit, but we were able to take advantage of it on our previously purchased Chromecasts.

You can check if you’re eligible for this promo by pointing your Chrome browser to chromecast.com/offers. The credit expires on January 31, 2016 and can be used on movies, music, apps, and other media. However, it can’t be used towards the purchase of any hardware. Only open to US residents.

Google Play, Amazon, and Best Buy are all promoting this offer for new Chromecast buyers.

At this point Google is pretty much paying you to own a Chromecast. Just recently, we’ve seen Google hand out free moviesHulu Plus and Play subscriptions.

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Nexus 6 launches in UK on O2 while T-Mobile Nexus 9 launch reportedly delayed

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The launches of Google’s new Nexus devices have been kind of a mess to say the least, and while more people have gotten the opportunity to purchase them because they’re being launched on more carriers, this also means that the rollout wasn’t as simple as just listing them on Google Play. But as of today, some amount of progress is being made, and those in the UK now have a chance to get their hands on the Nexus 6 via O2. Sadly, though, the launch of the Nexus 9 on T-Mobile in the U.S. has hit a bit of a snag, being delayed for an unknown amount of time.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Lollipop update begins to rollout, but only in Poland

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When Google released its Android distribution numbers for December earlier this week, Lollipop was notably missing from the chart as it had not gained enough of the market to appear. In a move that will slowly start to get Lollipop onto more devices, however, Samsung this evening has started to rollout its Lollipop update to the Galaxy S5. At this point, though, the update is only rolling out to the Poland Galaxy S5 variant (via SamMobile).

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Google Play store shares its ‘Best Apps of 2014′ list

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Like it has done in recent years, Google is today displaying its list of top app picks for the year with around 70 apps total receiving the award.

Google has a section on Google Play displaying the “Best Apps of 2014” and in it includes a number of high-profile apps alongside lesser known entrants. The majority of the apps are free, but there are also a few paid offerings like Over, 7 Minute Workout, djay 2, and others. Some of the bigger names on the list include IFTTT, Shazam, Yahoo News Digest, CNN, Uber, and Mailbox. Read more

Nintendo patent hints at official Game Boy emulator for mobile phones

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TechCrunch points to a newly published patent filed by Nintendo that shows the company is interested in bringing Game Boy titles to mobile devices through emulation technology. Many emulators exist online to mimic old consoles and allow gamers to play back catalogs of games converted to ROM files on Macs and PCs, and Nintendo could possibly do the same to officially bring titles to mobile devices without much heavy lifting in terms of rewriting the games: Read more